Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Difference between Addition and Addiction

I do a lot of thinking while on the run. I've been doing a lot of stroller running, and seem to only think about a. Is Henry okay? b. Is Lambeau going to jump out of the basket? (He rides underneath during morning runs...we go for his walk and then run. Leaving the house is a task, so I combine my outings!) 

Lambeau loves his "basket"! I say "Lambeau get in your basket" and he jumps in.

While on a recent (re: rare) solo run, I got to thinking about how good it feels to be back to the activity that I love. I ran until I was 36 weeks pregnant, at which time my bladder helped make hanging up my running shoes an easy decision. After my emergency c-section, it made for a grand total of 14 non-running weeks. I missed it terribly, but at the same time I couldn't imagine running with my pain and rate of my recovery. Once I hit 8 weeks postpartum, I was ready. So on this solo run I got to thinking: Running is such a great addition to my life.

Throwback photo to the 2012 Philly Marathon with some pretty great people. Thanks, Running!

And then my mind ran with that. I recalled the article in Runner's World "No, Running Isn't Therapy". I loved this article, because it embodied my thoughts about running in a very poignant way. I agree that running is a great outlet, that it helps with stress and all, but there are some things that running can't solve. When it's taken away, what will you do? That's the problem I faced post baby. Thankfully the answer was rest and relax, because running is just a great addition to my life, not an addiction.

Toe surgery circa August 2013 sidelined me for a month. This was a tougher no running time, since it was the end of summer! Teachers get how stressful that is and you try to pack all the fun things into the remaining weeks before school!

The difference between addition and addiction is the place of something on your priority list. I used to get so upset with a missed run, an injury, change in schedule, or shortened run. Now? I'm just happy to run. I'm not worried about my pace, how long I go, or if I feel all jiggly and weird. Now, I understand different strokes for different folks in training, and training can get serious. Goals are great. Aspirations drive us. I think Psychology Today summed it up right, I'll paraphrase their definition of addiction:

"Addiction is the condition where an individual engages in an activity that can be pleasurable, but the continued act becomes compulsive and interferes with life responsibilities."

These days, I have different life responsibilities. I used to get so down and flustered when work would interfere with my running schedule. Now, life is all about finding the balance of being fully present with my family as well as enjoying the addition of running in my life. Running should enhance your life, not detract from it. I have definitely felt a shift in balance to enhancement within running friendships, running with my husband, and setting it aside as "me time"; a get to, not a have to.

How about you? Do you think running is therapy? How have you handled times when you couldn't run? Where does running rank on your priority list? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 13 Weeks

My little guy is three months old! I can't believe it. I thought I would be a lot further along in this game of "getting back to pre baby body status" at three months. I haven't been able to get a single one of my rewards from my postpartum fitness plan. Want honesty? I HAVEN'T LOST A POUND! I'm still 18lbs away from my pre baby weight. And you know what? I'm working with what I've got. I'm going to keep going, keep working at it, and earn my fitness back. My other choice is to sit and mope and stay the same, which I have no interest in. The challenge is to focus on my increased fitness, NOT my lack of numbers progress. Easier said than done, but I'm working towards it! Here's how things went this week:
Keep on going. God will guide you, He will give you the strength you need. #quotes #quotiful Create your own picture quote and download the app at 

Weekly Workouts: 13 Weeks Postpartum
  • Sunday: Ran three miles! About a mile long walk on the beach. It was a windy overcast day, but we made the best of it! I seriously love running in VA Beach, I've had the most beautiful, peaceful....and HOT runs there! 
 My hair was WILD. The tail/head winds were extreme!

 It was even windy for Lambeau to run!

My Linus baby and I. He was very cuddly. I obliged!
  • Monday: Torrential downpour, nothing. Basically we took another lazy day and watched movies.
  • Tuesday: Fitzala workout! A great circuit workout. I had to use some household items because I didn't think to pack my kettlebells. Silly me ;-)
  • Wednesday: Beach and travel day. It was the most gorgeous day, so we soaked in the morning lazing on the beach. 
Family Beach photo!
  • Thursday: Rest Day with tons of running around.  Henry has been having some reflux issues, so we spent the day at his pediatrician then an ENT. I felt exhausted but didn't feel like I got anything done!
  • Friday: Fitzala workout. Made it two out of three rounds. Henry woke up from his nap and wouldn't continue snoozing, so we called it a day! We also went to the park and did some walking with some friends.
My companions for my workouts.
  • Saturday: Walked a mile. My hamstrings were tight so I decided to take it easy. It was a rainy day so it was easy to rest with my boys. 
Summary: I want a solid schedule. Easier said than done with an infant, but I want to arrange things to ensure I get my workouts in. Now that the pool is closed, I find it harder to leave Mr. Miller & Co. because it's so nice to spend time together! We're trying to run together today to see how that goes. We both feel like we need to be more consistent; we know what to do but we need the extra OOMPH to do it more consistently!

How was your week? Did you have rainy weather for your workout? Eat anything fabulously pumpkin? Do your animals interrupt you during your workouts? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Henry: Three Months

Lesson learned: Enjoy every moment! There are so many developmental things happening so fast! One day we would catch a fleeting smile, and suddenly he smiles 24/7! It's truly amazing in three months how this guy has grown.Here are some highlights:

Hi, I'm three months old! 
This was taken on 9/11/14, I chose his shirt on a day when NYC is remembered. Amazing how on a day of solemn remembrance, a little one can innocently brighten it.

  • Henry is smiling nonstop! He wakes up in the morning smiling, despite being hungry. I don't have that much self control! He's the best.
  • Henry has a dairy allergy/sensitivity. Although there is no test for this, his stool culture showed blood in the stool. After a week of no dairy for me, there was no blood in the new culture. Verdict: no dairy for mom! Wahhhh. But anything for my baby.
  • He is on a new reflux med. He distracted doctors by being a happy baby and gaining weight, but I persisted with evaluations concerning his spitting up nonstop (Oh the laundry....burp cloths on burp cloths on burp cloths!). We finally got an ENT consult and hope this new medicine will calm his reflux. Again, despite pain, he's a happy go lucky babe.
  • He is in his crib! We had him in the rock and play because of the reflux (upright sleeping helped tremendously), but now he's moving a ton and seems to be too constricted in the rock and play.
  • He loves to bicycle kick! Get this kid to a spin class STAT! 
  • We vacationed at Annapolis and Virginia Beach! Unfortunately it was raining 3 out of 6 days, but fortunately this guy roles with the punches!
  • He's a great jogging stroller baby! We go everywhere together, whether walking or running!
  • Henry weighs in at 13lbs 7oz, I'm getting a great arm workout!!!
Just in case he seems perfect...this post was written one handed! We had a whining/cranky fest on the night when Mr. Miller is at a Mets game! I currently have a sleeping Henry in my left arm. It served to remind me that he is so good even when tired. We are so thankful for a healthy baby boy who continues to exude joy.

Happy Three Months Little Lion Man!
Some fantastic outtakes!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 12 Weeks

It's vacation week! Sadly we're experiencing some rain, so I'm blogging. This past week marked 12 weeks since I had Henry via C-Section, so that means the beginning of lifting and abs! I haven't broken out the kettle bells just yet, I stuck with 4lb weights to ease my way back into lifting. I was so scared to start ab work, and rightfully so: after my first "real" moves targeting my abs, it hurt when I laughed and coughed! (Full circle from when they hurt post surgery I guess?) Doesn't matter, I'm back to full body workouts and I'm excited! 

Weekly Workouts: 12 Weeks Postpartum
  • Sunday: Nothing, spent the day with my family, visiting friends, and lazying about.
  • Monday: Repeat of Sunday, but this was spent mainly lounging by the pool.
  • Tuesday: Fitzala workout! It didn't seem hard at the time, but the crossfit type workout left me SORRRRRRRRRE. First time actively engaging my abs in an ab focused move, and it was difficult. The 'ol stomach has plenty of rehabbing ahead of it!
  • Wednesday: Rest day. Visited another cute Henry so I walked about 2 miles total "wearing" the baby.
  • Thursday: 1.5 mile run on the "first day of school". It was my first time in six years not helping kindergarteners separate from their parents and not lose their new class. Seeing kids walking to school gave me minor anxiety. Also did the Fitzala workout! Boy was I sore from the first one, and this one was much more difficult. I had to modify the ab work because my abs simply could not do the assigned exercise.
  • Friday: Rest day: driving to vacation! We stopped overnight in Annapolis and enjoyed a day of eating, drinking, and visiting with friends.
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Kings of the castle! A pirate pup and his first mate.

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At our favorite dockside spot in Annapolis, MD
  • Saturday: Rest day: driving again! We drove the rest of the way to VA Beach and went to a BBQ event. It was disgustingly hot and humid, so nothing happened besides more pool lounging.
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After a successful swim in the pool! It was so hot the pool was like bathwater! 

Summary: Only two days of "real" workouts. It was a busy week filled with traveling with an infant! It was definitely the kind of week where I felt like all I was doing was packing, unpacking, then repacking. It was also extremely hot at the beginning of the week, so I backed off from any stroller running. It's not worth it to get some miles in to have a hot baby! It made me extremely thankful for the cool summer we've had.

How was your week? Do you feel like it's "fall"? Did you or your kids start school? How is fall race training going? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 11 Weeks

Hello, September! I can't believe I'm not reporting to work today. I will be taking a year off from teaching to take care of little Henry, but reality still hasn't hit me. Seeing kids going to school on Thursday will definitely made it feel more "real". This past week was filled with fun, travel, and HEAT! It made me thankful that we have had a relatively cool summer. 

Weekly Workouts: 11 Weeks Postpartum
  • Sunday: FANTASTIC 3 mile run! It is the best I have felt running with the BOB, and even averaged in the high 10's! 
PRISTINE morning on the West Side Highway! Henry slept through the whole thing.
  • Monday: I made it all four circuits of my at home workout
  • Tuesday: 1000m swim. I wasn't feeling this swim, especially knowing that my boys were walking around the park enjoying the sunset, but I kept going and made it just as the whistle was blown to stop. It was, after all, my last swim of the season there.
And just like that, the sun sets on my (abbreviated) summer swimming.

  • Wednesday: 1 mile run (It was HOT) and two rounds of my strength routine.
  • Thursday: 3.75 mile run! BOB PDR! I FINALLY ran to the park and back. This is my old running route, and it felt like I was finally "running again", instead of driving my car to the park, running a mile or two, then driving home. It was definitely a slower pace since I was dealing with going slow/walking over uneven sidewalks, but it was totally worth it!
He's in there, I promise!
  • Friday: Rest day: I got a full body workout packing the car though! We drove to CT for the weekend!
  • Saturday: Unplanned rest day. You know when you feel tired and everything in you wants to work out, but you're just TIRED?! That was me. And you know what? My body was screaming for rest and relaxation, and that's what I gave it. I'm not going to sacrifice my body's need for rest to try to exercise on fumes. 
Sleepy weekend by the pool. We all enjoyed some much needed rest and relaxation! Related: rolls on rolls on rolls on rolls!

Summary: I'm seeing progress and staying positive. Before my vow to avoid negative self talk, I would have been beating myself up over skipping my workouts Saturday and, spoiler alert, Sunday and Monday. However, spending time with family, floating in a pool, and visiting with friends made this weekend a healthy dose of much need decompression. Next up: full on working out! 12 weeks means weights and abs. I'm nervous and excited, stay tuned for the progress! We are going on vacation this Friday, so I'm hoping to maintain a healthy balance of working out and continued relaxation.

How was your week? Do you plow through exhaustion to get a workout in? When was the last time you jumped off a diving board? (I did it Monday! So weird but so fun!) Do you think the benefits of exercising outweigh the benefits of resting? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Weight of Attitude

I must start this blog post with a disclaimer. I have an 11 week old son. I had an (emergency) c-section, which was difficult (for this active third floor walk up dweller) to recover from. Henry is still not "sleeping through the night", so mommy is tired and not sleeping through the night.  I am a goal oriented person; once I set a plan in motion, I assume things are going to exactly according to plan (Not the best mindset, more often than not). Okay, with that said, let's talk about attitude.

I can't resist this little lion man!

I have had a bad attitude recently. Last week I basically had a breakdown. Was it the hormones? Maybe. Was it my unrealistic expectations? Possibly. But it happened. I did my usual once a week weigh in, after having lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks, with high expectations. I had eaten well, exercised, and felt good. What was translated to me by a numbers board was not what I was expecting: 1 pound gained. Now I know what you all are thinking: It's just a scale, it doesn't determine your happiness. Please, think back to a time when you were expecting a good time only to see it was significantly slower pace than your expectation, or even your own weight struggle. We've all been there: feeling disappointed in the lack of progress. I was there Friday. I was mad at the scale, mad at my body, mad that I'm still carrying around 18 extra pounds. Can I say that? Well, I will. 
Before we go on, know this: I wouldn't trade my son for the world. I know this extra weight is temporary. I KNOW lots of things. But I had one of "those" days where things started off rocky and went downhill from there; nothing major, just little annoyances magnified by the initial annoyance of the day.

Something Good In Every Day!

This is my reality: I'm no where close to my pre-baby weight nearly three months later. I know it's not an overnight occurrence, but I assumed I would be further along than this by now. I assumed that everyone was right when they told me "The weight will fall off when you're breastfeeding!" I assumed that three weeks of clean(er) eating and healthy amounts of exercise would yield more than a net of 1 pound lost. I assumed it wouldn't be this hard. And you know what? It's been eating away at me, and that attitude is like an added weight. 

I thought of Dr. Seuss's Oh the Places You'll Go Via

My attitude has weighed me down. My husband, God bless him, has been beyond supportive and positive. I, on the other hand, have been focused on how nothing fits, my visible "rolls", and lack of results. It's so easy to be caught in this rut. I tiptoed the line of this rut, but fell in it on Friday. There were tears. There were "never" statements. My attitude was like an anchor and I was stuck. I went for an "angry run". You know the kind, where you just need to burn off steam...only it's hard to burn off steam when you're pushing 50lbs of stroller/baby/puppy. I felt slow, like this process I'm in. I had tons of fun plans for the weekend, but I wasn't excited about them. I was sabotaging myself because things weren't working out the way I thought they should be. Thankfully, I woke up Saturday a bit calmer, a bit happier, and a bit more sane. I spent time with some pretty great people. On Sunday I went for a "cleansing run", one where the day was beautiful, things felt good, and the end feeling was satisfaction with my effort.

Mr. Miller played tennis with Nike while I ran 3 miles with Henry

NYC Family. Enough said.

So, how will I be different? I was watching The Today Show and saw a series about giving things up for 30 days; whether it be technology, sweets, whatever is "weighing you down". I saw a mom featured who gave up negative talk (Read her story here). So, starting today, I will be following in her footsteps. I will give up negative talk about myself as a mom, my appearance, and (trivial) circumstances. I'm going to lighten the weight of my attitude. 

start filtering. your thoughts are the beginning of everything.

If you have made it this far, congratulations! I wrote this post over the weekend, and took time to think about if I really wanted to publish it. I had really encouraging conversations with other moms who gave me a healthy dose of tough love, personal experiences and encouragement. I'm published it because there may be others having a tough day, week, month, or year in their weight loss journey (Whether postpartum or otherwise), and I wanted you to know that other people have those trying times too. I have not said anything negative in the past few days, and I already feel more accomplished, lighter, and relaxed. I'm shedding the weight of my attitude, and honestly, it feels good.

How about you? Have you ever gotten into an attitude rut? How do you escape falling into a negative pattern? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 10 weeks

How is it the end of August?! Time has been flying by! This was a decent fitness week, getting VERY close  to full throttle fitness, aka 12 weeks! This week was definitely busy, filled with tons of social plans that slightly hampered my workout plans. Here's how it went: 

Weekly Workouts: 10 Weeks Postpartum
  • Sunday: 4 circuits of my postpartum workout! I made it the full 4! Then took a two mile a brewery. At least we burned calories before and after?! 
  • Monday: Two mile run around the neighborhood. Brought Lamby and baby (24 extra pounds!) It went a lot better, I'm getting the hang of this BOB Stroller + Running thing.
  • Tuesday: 1000m swim. This was an AMAZING swim and I felt fantastic. I found that the later I get to the pool the less people are there, allowing me to swim without stopping...but dusk is coming earlier and that's when the pool closes!
  • Wednesday: This was a semi rest day. I had a "sore day"; if you've had a c-section you know what I mean. I was randomly sore in my incision, like little stabs once in a while. I abstained from any serious workouts and visited some pretty great people in Manhattan for lunch (This entailed  about 2 miles of walking)
Can we please talk about the gun show? Seriously Henry, you make fitness look easy. Getting some love from Aunty S and Uncle N and Ashley!
  • Thursday: Another rest day. Didn't want to overdo it. Also walked two miles to my running partner's initial going away party. WAHHHHHHH. 
This is typical us. Note: I'm totally pregnant drinking club soda and lime at a lounge. #momoftheyear
  • Friday: 2 mile run at the park with the babe and the pup. It was not a happy run. Dare I say I "ran angry"? Lots of things going on in my head. More on that later.
  • Saturday: Saturday morning family walk. We probably went a mile. We had ANOTHER going away party to go to in New Jersey, so this was technically an "off day". 

I kind of like cloudy days

Summary: Things could have gone better. Or could they have? Even though some parties won over workouts, I wouldn't trade the good times I had with good friends. In retrospect, workouts will always be available, but spending time with friends (Especially those leaving NYC sob heave sob) is priceless.

How was your week? Do you opt to relax socially instead of getting in a workout? Do you make sure to get in a workout no matter what? Any awesome end of summer plans? TELL ME ABOUT IT!